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Turkish Authorities Deport Iranian Activist To Lebanon

Iranian polotical activist Peyman Aref

Iranian political activist Peyman Aref has been deported from Turkey to Lebanon after being detained by Turkish security forces, his lawyer told RFE/RL.

The reason for the December 21 expulsion was not clear.

Lawyer Sahand Azarturk told RFE/RL that Aref was detained on December 10 in Ankara for criticizing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish government.

Aref's wife, Sara Jamshidi, said Turkish authorities ordered him to choose between Georgia and Lebanon as a destination.

She wrote on Facebook on December 21 that Aref is now in the care of the UN in Beirut.

Aref was among students barred from studying in Iran over their activism and criticism of the Iranian establishment.

Aref was jailed in Iran in 2010 and later whipped after being convicted of charges that included spreading propaganda against the Iranian establishment and insulting Iran's president at the time, Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Aref had been residing in Turkey since 2014 as an asylum seeker.